Joined USJ: 2016
Michelle Kraczkowski, Ph.D., assistant professor of Biology, developed an appreciation for the aquatic world while growing up in Rhode Island. Frequent fishing and clamming excursions on Narragansett Bay with her father sparked an interest that later developed into a career. After participating in Aquanauts, a program at her high school, and studying correlations between whale behavior and hydroacoustics, she pursued Biology in higher education. “I discovered a way to continue being a part of the amazing aquatic world: become a scientist,” Kraczkowski remembered.
In college Kraczkowski’s childhood passion transformed into a lifetime mission to learn as much as possible about the ocean. While studying organisms and processes in marine and freshwater ecosystems, she conducted research that ranged from ichthyological surveys and monitoring water quality to extracting DNA from fish in order to discern species identifications and phylogenetic histories. Kraczkowski has dedicated her life to continuous learning and passes that onto her students. “With continued growth in knowledge, we enable ourselves to understand how to protect, sustainably utilize, and respectfully experience Earth’s amazing resources,” she stated.
Kraczkowski’s research has taken her all over the world – from snorkeling in the Caribbean to scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef. She has also spent time at The Field Museum in Chicago and has worked with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection. Learning about these varied experiences in the classroom, Kraczkowski’s students gain real-world insights, develop a greater understanding of the aquatic world, and share in an overall appreciation for nature. “These formative experiences have shaped my heart and drive to teach students to appreciate the ecosystems of our planet, and instill a curiosity to explore and discover through broad research techniques, which can lead to conservation of the only Earth we have. “
Ph.D., Wesleyan University
M.A., Central Connecticut State University
B.S., University of Rhode Island
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